State and local governments can now apply for the Smart Cities Council’s 2018 Readiness Challenge Grant. Five grant recipients receive a year’s worth of free mentoring; a custom-designed, on-site Readiness Workshop; and membership in the Smart Cities Leadership Circle.

The challenge is open to cities, counties, states, provinces, and regional authorities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To be eligible, the government entity must have a population greater than 100,000 residents. Additionally, applicants must agree to the Smart Cities Council’s Smart City Principles, which call for an inclusive, equitable, “people-first” approach and a commitment to community livability, workability, sustainability, and resilience. Applications must also include a a cover letter from their chief executive, such as the mayor or governor.

The Smart Cities Council requires applicants to include four key pieces of information in their applications:

  • Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to widespread stakeholder engagement by sharing a list of the leadership and organizations they propose to invite to the Readiness Workshop.
  • Applicants must demonstrate capacity by briefly listing existing smart city projects, plans, policies and leadership efforts.
  • Applicants must designate three theme areas that represent city priorities and discuss challenges and opportunities in these areas.
  • Applicants must address how they will use smart technologies to help vulnerable or marginalized people or neighborhoods.

The application deadline is December 15, 2017. The section committee, made up of Smart Cities Council staff, partners, and Advisory Board members, will announce the winners on Jan. 16, 2018. To request an online application, click here.


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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs